Ease of Doing Business Rank: 13
Mauritius is an island state off the west coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Its territory includes one large island and several outer islands.
Mauritius does not have an official language. However, English and French are generally accepted as the official languages of Mauritius and are the languages most commonly used in government administration and business.
The common language of the country is Mauritian Creole, spoken by 86.5% of the population.
The 2019 population for Mauritius is approximately 1.27 million.
Mauritius has one city, Port Louis, with a population of 140,608. It also has four towns, the largest Vacoas-Phoenix (105,559), and Beau Bassin-Rosehill (103,098). The remainder of the population lives in small villages throughout the island.
The top industries in Mauritius are financial and business services, food processing (sugar), textiles, clothing, mining, chemicals, metal products, transport equipment, nonelectrical machinery, and tourism.
The Times Higher Education World Rankings does not include Mauritius universities in their rankings.
The Legatum Prosperity Index ranks Mauritius’ education system 67th out of 149.
The most common business entities in Mauritius are Global Business Corporation, Limited Liability Company, Limited Liability Partnership, and Sole Proprietorship.
The most commonly incorporated entities in Mauritius are the Limited Liability Company and Global Business Corporation.
Mauritius is very receptive to foreign business. It is politically stable and offers low taxes and business-friendly legal and regulatory frameworks.
These are some of incentives offered to foreign companies:
Investments made in freehold or leasehold immovable property sometimes require Ministerial approval.
As of January 2019, any corporation held or controlled by a non-resident conducting or proposing to conduct business principally outside Mauritius needs a Global Business License.
Companies must carry out core income-generating activities in or from Mauritius and employ suitable qualified individuals, either directly or indirectly. The business must be managed, controlled, and administered from Mauritius.
Mauritius is an island nation, so business occurs throughout the region. The island offers many business parks and Ebène Cybercity, a high-tech hub.
The environment is suitable for banking, insurance, trading, fund management, international financial and consultancy services, shipping, information and communication technology, and more.
Mauritius’ principal attractions revolve around the outstanding natural beauty of the region.
Mauritius Botanical Garden near Port Louis is the oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere. Built in 1767, it spans 37 hectares and features palms from Central America, Asia, Africa, and Indian Ocean islands.
The massive Black River Gorges National Park was established to protect the island’s lush rainforest, birds, and wild animals. Many of these birds are only found on the island such as the Mauritius kestrel, parakeet, and cuckoo-shrike. The park also features Black River Peak, the highest point on the island.
Grand Bassin, or Ganga Talao, is a lake high in the mountains of Mauritius. The Hindi of the island considers Ganga Talao a holy lake and claim the waters communicate with the Ganges in India. They perform a pilgrimage annually in honor of Lord Siva. A 33 meter statue towers over the lake.
Mauritius also has a dormant volcano, Trou aux Cerfs. The 300 meter wide crater has a small lake in the center and the rim provides an excellent viewpoint for the entire island.
Chamarel Park features a geopark with unique sand dunes in the colors of the rainbow. Feast your eyes on red, brown, violet, green, blue, yellow, purple, and red waves of color and later visit the spectacular waterfall plunging 100 meters into a gorge.
The nation of Mauritius also includes several outlying islands such as Île aux Cerfs off the east coast. It is best-known for its sandy beaches, stunning lagoon, and swimming and snorkeling. Ile aux Aigrettes Ile aux Aigrettes is a nature conservancy managed by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation and one of the best places to view rare and endangered species of plants and animals.
Port Louis is the capital city and main port of the island. It was built in 1735 by the French and still retains much of its historic charm.
Fort Adelaide built by the British in 1835, looms over the city. However, touches of French architecture also grace the streets. The city also has three museums and the oldest post office on the island.
La Maison Créole in Eureka is a colonial house built in 1830. It was an elegant residence for British and French aristocrats and features 109 doors and windows as well as manicured gardens.
Just steps away from Turtle Bay, visitors can see the ruins of the old Balaclava estate. Turtle Bay was a popular supply stopover for ships travelling from Europe to the East.
In the 18th century, the French settled in Mauritius and built this estate, complete with iron foundry, naval arsenal, and gun powder factory. However, the powder store exploded in 1774.
The first Europeans to visit Mauritius were the Portuguese around 1510 AD. However, they took no interest in the area.
Dutch arrived in 1598 and named the island after Maurice of Nassau. They introduced sugar cane and Java deer to the region, but did not bring settlers to the area for the first forty years.
When the Dutch did settle the island, they met with a series of hardships. Eventually, they left for South Africa in 1710.
Five years later, the French claimed the territory as their colony and renamed it “Isle de France”. The French Governor, Mahé de Labourdonnais, built the harbor of Port Louis and Mauritius became a trading hub for sugar and rum.
During the Napoleonic Wars, French corsairs also organized successful raids on British commercial ships. The raids continued until 1810 when the British occupied the island and the French ceded the territory under the Treaty of Paris of 1814. French settlers remained and retained their customs, religion, and laws.
By 1835, Britain had abolished slavery so they were in great need of indentured workers for their sugar cane fields. Most came from India and eventually settled in Mauritius. Indo-Mauritians supplied the labor, but Franco-Mauritians owned nearly all of the large sugar estates and were active in business and banking.
In the 1920’s, conflicts arose between the Indian community and the Franco-Mauritians. This led to the establishment of the Mauritius Labor Party to protect worker interests in 1936.
Mauritius finally achieved independence in 1968 and adopted a constitution based on the British parliamentary system. In 1992, they became a democratic parliamentary republic.
Today, Mauritius has a diversified, stable economy with growing industrial, financial, ICT and tourist sectors.
According to the 2011 census made by Statistics Mauritius, Hinduism is the major religion for 48.54% of the population, followed by Christianity at 32.71%.
Indo-Mauritians constitute the majority of the population (40%), followed by Creole (22%), Tamils or Christian-Tamils (14.5%), Gens de Couleur or Colored Creoles (3%), Chinese or Sino-Mauritian (2%), Franco-Mauritians (1%), and White South Africans (1.5%).
According to Forbes’ 2019 Best Countries for Business, Mauritius is the 39th best country in the world for conducting business.
The 2019 Index of Economic Freedom rates Mauritius 29th globally and states, “Mauritius is ranked 1st among 47 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is above the regional and world averages.
Mauritius remains among the Sub-Saharan Africa region’s most business-friendly countries, with solid economic policies and prudent banking practices. Business freedom and investment freedom remains strong overall in Germany. Long-term competitiveness and entrepreneurial growth are supported by openness to global commerce, well-protected property rights, and a sound regulatory environment.”
World Bank’s “Doing Business” rankings rate Mauritius 20th for ease of doing business in the world.